If I Were Invisible…

Hi. I’m Mo. You might remember me? I used to write a blog…

The days and weeks have flown by and I’ve missed being here.

My absence has been the result of many things including lots of (mostly good) activities but also, to be perfectly honest, a bit of post-election blues.

Although I rarely make New Year’s resolutions because they are usually kicked to the curb by Valentine’s Day, I realized that right now I need a resolution or, better yet, a mantra to get back into my Pollyanna groove.

“I will choose love over hate, happiness over anger, kindness over vengeance and action over idle complaints.”

I feel better already.

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Moving on…

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve heard me talk about Coach Daddy’s 6 Word Challenge.  Each month, Eli poses a question that participants must answer in exactly six words. It is a creatively challenging and sometimes maddening exercise in clever conciseness.

This month’s question: “If you could be invisible for a week, what would you do?”

Hmmm…

There are so many directions this could go.

Would I want to use this super power to get even with someone? To feather my pockets with ill-gotten gains? No, too mean and dishonest. (See mantra above.)

Perhaps I’d spend a week hanging out among lions or polar bears to soak in their beauty and majesty up close, without the fear of being eaten. Not a bad idea but, after all, isn’t that the job of the National Geographic Channel?

OOOO! How about this: I could park myself inside Buckingham Palace to see just what the Royals do all day. Oh sure, they have some duties to attend to as part of their ceremonial positions and then there’s the daily high tea, but other than that? I’d love to know.

With 188 staff bedrooms, the palace houses plenty of folks to do all the work around the place; surely that means the Royals have scads of free time on their hands. What do they do all day?

Do the Royals sit around watching “Ladies of London”, reading Hello! magazine or pinning items to their “Fascinating Fascinators” or “Recipes For The Downstairs Staff” boards on Pinterest?

If I were invisible, I could find out.

I guess I could also read a book about the Royals. I suppose that might answer my curiosity but certainly would be way less fun than roaming the halls in my invisibility cloak.

Alright, here’s a thought.

If I were invisible, maybe I could get myself a magic wand (if you are dreaming, dream big) and then maybe I could use that magic wand to go around doing anonymous good deeds.

Yes, that’s it.

My 6-word response to the question,”If you could be invisible for a week, what would you do?”:

Grant wishes with my magic wand.

Kind of like Ellen or Oprah without the zillions of dollars required to be a real-life fairy godmother.

Wouldn’t it be fun to perform random acts of kindness and get to see the surprise in the faces of the recipients without it seeming like you are just hanging around looking for a “thank you”?

To be able to catch a glimpse of the joy experienced by your target before reholstering your wand and invisibly moving on to the next “victim”?

No pats on the back, no newspaper headlines. Simply kindness for the sake of kindness.

Well, I’m not likely to come into possession of an invisibility cloak or magic wand anytime soon but I can do my best to spread light in the world through positive words and kind deeds.

Random acts of kindness, standing up for and protecting others, thwarting bullies wherever and whenever they surface, encouraging hope, always hope. I’d like these to be my superpowers.

I can think of no better way to clear the blues.

Make the world a better place

What about you? What would you do if you were invisible for a week? What would you want your superpowers to be? Do you ever wonder about the idle time of the Royals or is that just me?

By the way, do yourself a favor and spend some time visiting Coach Daddy’s site. You will be glad you did!

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Life Experiences: Some Wacky, Some Wonderful

“Who I Am” – Chapter 6

Throughout 2016, I am participating in the “Who I Am” project which is the brainchild of Dana from Kiss My List and Bev from Linkouture.  This month’s topic is: ‘Betcha didn’t know…’.

(You can find all of the other chapters in my “Who I Am” story here.)

Mocadeaux - page breakWe all have some life experiences that stand out in our memory for one reason or another. Wacky, wonderful, life-changing or personality-revealing, these experiences help to illustrate the story of our life.

Please let me share a few “betcha didn’t know” facts about myself.

Over the course of my life, I have moved 25 times.

moving boxes

Witness protection program?

No, just a family that likes adventure and isn’t afraid to try new places.

These different homes include 3 dorm rooms in college, a couple of temporary housing apartments occupied while we waited to move into one house or another and multiple homes in five different states. Each of these moves involved copious amounts of boxes, paper, and tape.

So, yeah, I’m kind of an expert at moving. If you need any advice, I’m your gal.

I’ve been to dinner with Phil Donahue and on a late night Denny’s run with Timothy Leary.

When I was at Notre Dame I was the Comptroller of the Student Union. This very exciting job meant that I paid the bills for all of the Student Union sponsored events, got free admission to these events (making me a very cheap date) and occasionally got to dine with the various celebrities who came to campus.

 

Phil Donahue, Notre Dame alumni, husband of Marlo Thomas, and former talk show host is the person whom Oprah credits with paving the way for Oprah to become OPRAH.

Phil was on campus for a lecture and four or five of us took him out to dinner at a fancy-pants restaurant.

Quite charming, he spent the entire meal asking us about life on campus and seemed particularly interested in how women were assimilating into life at Notre Dame since the school had become co-ed only a few years earlier.

 

Our trip to Denny’s with Timothy Leary, world-renowned proponent of the mind-expanding benefits of LSD, was something different.

I assure you that no LSD was involved but Mr. Leary did bring a bottle of liquor in a paper bag from which he took frequent gulps while enjoying his Grand-Slam Breakfast.

I’m a proud member of the CPA Exam 300 Club.

The CPA exam consists of four parts. The passing score for each part is 75. Those of us in the 300 Club scored exactly 75 points on all four parts meaning that we just barely passed studied precisely the correct amount of time and not one minute too much.

My place of employment has been robbed – twice.

The first time was when I was in high school working at a bookstore in the mall with my sister. One day I was managing the cash register while my sister was in the back room working on inventory.

There were a number of customers in the store and a few in line at the register. As one customer departed, a couple stepped up to the register. She distracted me with questions about a display behind me before I had a chance to close the register drawer. After what seemed like only a few seconds, I turned around to see her accomplice yanking money out of the cash register.

Insanity kicked in. Yelling something like, “What do you think you are doing? Give that back!”, I grabbed the money out of the robber’s hand and the duo ran out of the store.

(Definitely one of the most foolish and unsafe things I’ve ever done and was, in fact, my answer to Coach Daddy’s 6 Word Challenge for June: Tell us about something you did decidedly unsafe – in six words.)

shakedown

The second time, I was working at a bathing suit shop on the beach and noticed a woman stick a couple of string bikinis in her beach bag. This time, I was smart and called the authorities rather than taking matters into my own hands. The police nabbed the woman in the parking lot and – wouldn’t you know – she had a gun in her purse.

I’m not sure that those bikinis were worth risking a charge of armed robbery. Throw in a Speedo or two then maybe…

I volunteered on the committee to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago.

Chicago 2016

For a couple of years, I spent hours each week as a volunteer with the Chicago 2016 committee. Without a doubt, this was one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences I have ever had.

I rode the train downtown one or two days per week to work in the office doing everything from making copies to researching international holidays. I helped out at events all over the city including Taste of Chicago and youth fitness events.

I greeted International Olympic Committee members when they came to Chicago for their site visit and stood on the stage near President Obama as the city celebrated making the first cut from Applicant City to Candidate City.

Even as a volunteer, I got to participate in small ways at big events.

I collected a lot of great SWAG and most importantly met lots and lots of incredible people who were all working diligently towards the same goal.

Sadly, the International Olympic Committee decided that the games should, for the first time ever, be held in South America rather than in the greatest city in the greatest country in the world.

Go figure.

So as you are watching the Rio Olympics with all of the talk of Zika and filthy water and crime and power outages, remember the folks who tried really, really hard to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to the good old U.S. of A. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

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Memory Upgrade

I have a terrible memory.

I forget names, important dates and vital details.

I can’t blame it on being “of a certain age”. I’ve always had this issue.

I used to rely on my beloved sister’s amazing memory to keep track of events in our childhood.

“Did we do that?” “Where was that place we rode the horses?” “What was the name of that crazy babysitter?’

I should have kept a diary….

So when presented with this month’s “6 Words” challenge by Coach Daddy, I had an easy answer.

September is Self-Improvement Month.

What’s one thing you’d like to upgrade in yourself in six words?

My response:

“ENGAGE MEMORY” switch for my brain.

Funny thing, though. As soon as Eli sent the prompt, I came up with the perfect 6 words but didn’t immediately write them down.

And promptly forgot.

Then came up with a new way to say the same thing – in 6 words – failed to write it down and, you guessed it, forgot.

Gone. Nothing. Zippo.

This happened more times than I care to admit. I may have come up with the same 6 words over and over again, I don’t remember. We’ll never know.

But if I had a switch for my brain that I could turn on to purposefully engage my memory? Amazing, right?

Engage memory

For starters, I’d fall asleep more quickly.

My nightly insomnia is, again, not caused by my age or by late afternoon lattes. It is a direct result of my terrible memory intersecting with my pathological need to make to-do lists.

Not a good combo.

Imagine if I could wiggle my ear or tweak my nose to fire up my memory on demand.

I’d be unstoppable!

I’d remember the bread and eggs and Dijon mustard on my mental grocery list.

I would remember to send cards and gifts on time.

Appointments would be made! Airline tickets purchased! Brilliant blog posts written!

Seriously, folks, if only I could remember all the clever, witty, lyrical prose I compose while laying awake each night, I’d be awarded a Pulitzer or something.

I’d spend less time conferring with Professor Google, looking up the answers to the same questions time and time again.

I’d complete crossword puzzles every day, not just the easy ones on Mondays.

Parties and meetings would be a breeze if I could turn on my memory to record the names of all the people in the room.

Flip the switch. Memory engaged. All is good.

But, alas, there is no such magical solution to my faulty memory condition.

My lazy brain and I are going to have to take on the hard work of self-improvement all on our own.

It sure would be easier, though, if pizza and wine were super brain foods rather than blueberries and sardines. (And yes, I had to google “brain foods” to remember what to write. I’ve got some work to do…)

Coach Daddy’s 6 Word Challenge is inspired by Earnest Hemingway’s assertion that any story can be told in only 6 words. Be sure to hop over to Coach Daddy to see all of this month’s entries.

In the meantime, play along! In 6 words, what would you do to upgrade yourself?

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Words Not Left Unsaid

I am honored to take part in Coach Daddy‘s “6 Words” challenge.

Eli’s assignment for us:

July is Freedom from Fear of Speaking Month. I want to give people an opportunity to say something to someone – or the universe – that they haven’t yet, for whatever reason. What would you choose to say, in six words? The topic is up to you.

(Check out Coach Daddy to see all of fabulous the entries.)

My first inclination was to use this opportunity to rant about a certain someone who is turning the presidential race into even more of a circus than normal. But I’d rather not think about “he whom I will not name”, let alone write about him. By the way, kudos to Huffington Post for relegating his antics to the “Entertainment” section rather than “News”.

But no, I prefer to be positive. Upbeat. Happy.

So, I took a bit of poetic license and, rather than writing something I would otherwise be afraid of saying, I’m going to use this opportunity to share thoughts I’m afraid of NOT saying. Or not nearly often enough.

Consider this a great big public thank you note to those who have filled my life with happiness and purpose.

I am me because of you.

Thank you.

To my wonderful husband who has loved me and cared for me and supported me in all my dreams, through tough times and celebrations. Thank you for going along with my wacky plans while keeping me out of trouble when necessary. Thank you for being you and always, always letting me be me.

I am me because of you.

To my children who have brought me constant happiness since the day you were born – thank you for your enduring love, your constant encouragement and for overlooking my many mothering mistakes. Raising you has been a privilege and a joy and the most important thing I have ever done.

I am me because of you.

And to my children-in-law, thank you for loving my children, for taking care of them, for being always by their side and appreciating the fabulously wonderful people they are. You are pretty wonderful yourself. I should tell you that more often.

Thank you to my adorable and perfect grandchildren who make any sad day a lot easier to cope with and make every other day gleeful beyond imagination.

To my 97 year old step-father for showing me the importance of taking care of yourself and always staying active both physically and mentally. A fine example of staying young by thinking young!

And to the rest of my family. I don’t say it often enough but I appreciate the enormous blessing of being part of such a loving and close knit family. You inspire me.

Thank you.

I am me because of you.

To my friends:

The moms & tots families – raising our children together I experienced the gift of being part of a nurturing community, one we have continued long after our mornings with apple juice and blueberry muffins. Thank you for welcoming me back into town with open arms and warm hugs.

To the Notre Dame group – who knew that, when fate threw us together 40 years ago, we would form a bond that would last a lifetime? Thank you for your kindness, generosity, loyalty and love. Distance does not keep us apart. And for that I am ever so grateful.

To my special girls – I can’t imagine my life without you. In a million ways every day you show me examples of what grace, benevolence and love truly mean. Your friendship is my everything.

I’m a very lucky gal with dear friends who hold a special place in my heart and bring me happiness every day.

I am me because of you.

Finally, to the most amazing person I know:

My mom.

As a young widow you raised four productive, fun, interesting and respectable adults and taught me everything I know about being a mother.

You taught me to never fear challenges and to always embrace adventure. You taught me to be polite and kind, always looking out for others.

You taught me the importance of education for education’s sake.

By your example, I have learned to stay positive, even when it is hard to do so, and to always look to the future with optimism and hope.

You taught me the value in choosing to be happy.

For these things and so many more, with all my love, thank you.

I am me because of you.

It’s true:

Lucky gal

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